Jason Geter, who previously co-founded Grand Hustle Records, told me that he’s looking to “redefine what a record label is today” with his new startup Heavy Sound Labs.
Geter said he sees Heavy Sound — which is part of startup studio Science Inc. — as an extension of the work he’s been doing for decades: Before co-founding Grand Hustle with T.I., Geter signed on as the rapper’s manager back when T.I. was only 18. He said he also signed Travis Scott back when Scott only had 500 views on YouTube.
“For me, I want to continue doing what I’ve always done, which is prepare [artists] to go to major labels,” Geter said.
Of course, the music business has changed dramatically since Grand Hustle was founded in 2003, a change that’s only accelerating as the coronavirus pandemic has brought in-person concerts and tours to a halt.
For one thing, Geter argued, “Traditional labels, they’re pretty much not in the development business anymore” — in other words, they’re not interested in finding young, undiscovered artists and nurturing their careers. At the same time, he suggested that musical subcultures (like the Atlanta hip-hop scene that he calls home) are no longer tied to specific cities.
“Lil Nas X stayed online,” he said. “By the time I found out about him, everyone else did too. It all happened at once.”